ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan joined the world to commemorate World Refugees Day on Monday, President Dr Arif Alvi called for resolve by the international community to continue its collective efforts and support for refugees around the world.
The president, in his message on the Day, said Pakistan continued to host one of the largest refugee populations around the world.
Beginning in 1979, millions of Afghan refugees started arriving in Pakistan and have continued to do so over the past four decades depending on conditions within Afghanistan, he added.
He said despite the declining international support for Afghan refugees over decades, the Government of Pakistan had provided all possible facilities including food, shelter, access to educational and medical facilities and ample livelihood opportunities for them.
President Alvi said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, testing and vaccine facilities were also provided to 1.43 million registered Afghan refugees and 850,000 Afghan Citizen Card Holders as part of the National Covid Program.
“As such, there should be no doubt about the commitment of Pakistan to the cause of refugees and the international community has acknowledged the contributions of Pakistan for this international cause… Pakistan will continue to work with the international community for durable solutions for the issues of refugees around the world,” he remarked.
He said World Refugees Day was designated by the United Nations to commemorate the strength and courage of people who had been forced to leave their countries unwillingly. It is also an occasion to promote empathy to comprehend the issues of refugees and to recognize their plight and resilience, he added.